Nelson Mandela International Day

Happy Nelson Mandela International Day!

Nelson Mandela was an influential figure who not only changed South Africa but affected how the world thinks, bringing light to a country run by apartheid. Do you know his story? We’ve got the rundown:

  •       His African name is Rolihlahla, which means “troublemaker” or “pull off a tree branch.”
  •       Mandela was brought up by the chief of his tribe, Tembu, placing him in line for the position.
  •       He attended boarding school where he received his English name, “Nelson,” from his teacher.

  •       He was the only surviving son among his father’s children from four wives.
  •       Later on, he gave up his right to become chief to pursue a law degree.
  •       The University College of Fort Hare, where he attended college, expelled him for his activism, which included his fight against the school protocols.
  •       He became a lawyer, gaining the degree from the University of the Witwatersrand.
  •       Mandela married Evelyn Ntoko Mase on the same year he became the head of the African National Congress (ANC) youth chapter.

  •       Oliver Tambo, another well-known anti-apartheid politician, was his college friend, and they both joined the ANC.
  •       Before his life imprisonment, he was already banned from joining organizations, and the right to speech.
  •       He divorced his first wife and eventually married Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela.
  •       Originally an advocate for nonviolent protesting, he changed after the 1960 Sharpeville massacre when the police murdered several unarmed Black Africans.
  •       Black Pimpernel was a nickname he was given because he was able to avoid being arrested until 1962.

  •       The speech he gave after being put on trial for “treason, sabotage and violent conspiracy,” was later published and entitled as I Am Prepared to Die.
  •       He was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 12, 1964, and was released on February 11, 1990.
  •       During his time in prison, his mother and son passed away in the same year, but he wasn’t given permission to attend their funerals.

  •       He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with F.W. de Klerk in 1993.
  •       In 1996, he and his second wife divorced, and he married Graca Machel, a widow to a former president of Mozambique, in 1998.
  •       He retired in 1998.
  •       He passed away on December 5, 2013, at 95 years old.


Looking at the life of iconic personalities reminds us of how they’re just ordinary people who decided to take on extraordinary hurdles. There’s nothing in this world we can’t handle.

Remember to jot down people who inspire you in your Journal to keep their lessons close to you.